Idioms - P (page 1)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

put through their paces

Defined: If you put someone or something through their paces, you test their ability to do something by making them perform certain actions.
Example: During the presentation, the machine was put through its paces.

pack of lies

Defined: A large number of untruthful statements is referred to as a pack of lies.
Example: The story about her unhappy childhood turned out to be a pack of lies.

pack something in

Defined: If you pack something in, you abandon it or give it up.
Example: She found city life so stressful, she decided to pack it in and move to the country.

packed like sardines

Defined: If a group of people are packed like sardines, they are pressed together tightly and uncomfortably because there is not enough space.
Example: The bus was very crowded - we were packed like sardines!

pad the bill

Defined: If someone pads the bill, they add false items to a bill or invoice in order to increase the total amount.
Example: Check the invoice carefully before paying - he tends to pad the bill!

paddle own canoe

Defined: If you paddle your own canoe, you do what you want to do without help or interference from anyone.
Example: He decided to paddle his own canoe and set up his own business.

paid peanuts

Defined: If you are paid peanuts, you have a very low salary.
Example: Jenny has a very interesting job, but she's paid peanuts.

pain in the neck

Defined: If you call someone a pain in the neck, you think they are very irritating or annoying.
Example: She's a pain in the neck the way she keeps complaining!

paint the town red

Defined: If you paint the town red, you go out and enjoy a lively evening in bars, night-clubs, etc.
Example: To celebrate the victory, the team's supporters painted the town red.

paint into a corner

Defined: If you paint yourself into a corner, you put yourself into a situation that restricts what you can do or say.
Example: Carole told her boss she was busy on Friday evening. She realized she had painted herself into a corner when he said : 'Too bad! I was going to give you two tickets for the opera."

press the panic button

Defined: If you hit or press the panic button, you raise the alarm too quickly or react too hastily in a difficult or stressful situation.
Example: Calm down! There's no need to press the panic button yet!

paper over cracks

Defined: To say that someone is papering over the cracks means that they are concealing a problem rather than dealing with it effectively.
Example: The measures taken to reduce unemployment are just paper over the cracks.

paper tiger

Defined: This term refers to a person, organization or country that is less powerful or threatening than they appear to be.
Example: He threatens to take strong action but he's just another paper tiger.

paper trail

Defined: If a person or organization leaves a paper trail, they leave evidence in writing or in document form that will serve as proof of their actions.
Example: The police found a paper trail which lead to the author of the hoax.

on paper

Defined: To say that an idea, plan or scheme seems good on paper means that it looks good in theory or in writing but may not work when put into practice.
Example: His plan looks good on paper but I'm not convinced it will work.

par for the course

Defined: If something is par for the course, it is typical of what to expect in that particular situation.
Example: I spent the week-end working on the project but nobody showed any appreciation. That's par for the course in this firm.

part and parcel

Defined: Something that is part and parcel of an activity or role is a key component or an essential element that cannot be avoided.
Example: I'm an events manager. Travelling is paart and parcel of my job.

parting shot

Defined: A parting shot is a final remark, often incisive or disparaging, made just as one is leaving.
Example: He has a way of making parting shots that can be very discouraging.

partner in crime

Defined: A person who helps you to plan something dishonest or unlawful is called your partner in crime.
Example: Sam was my partner in crime. He hid my son's bicycle until his birthday.

party is over

Defined: To say that the party is over means that a period of happiness, freedom, enjoyment etc. has come to an end, and life is going to return to normal.
Example: I had a wonderful time here but the party's over and I must get back to work.

pass the buck

Defined: If you say that someone is passing the buck, you are accusing them of not taking responsibility for a problem and letting others deal with it instead.
Example: Whenever a customer comes to complain, she always finds a way of looking busy - a great way of passing the buck!

Page 1 (Continued on Page 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ).

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Additional Training Options

Private Tutoring

Do you want private classes that are tailored to your specific needs that are affordable?


Come practice your reading, writing
and comprehension skills with other students.